Sign writing brushes are unique and difficult to find, but not impossible in this day of computer generated signs. Show card writing brushes, made of sable are not manufactured anymore. Sign Writing Brushes are unique in that the hair is chiseled or squared at the tip, the ferrule made of quill and the handle of wood.
Sign painters refer to their lettering brushes as quills or Camel Hair Brushes. Originally made in France they were referred to as French Camel Hair brushes. Camel Hair has a ‘very high gloss, and is quite springy, which makes it very useful for lettering on glass and other smooth surfaces with oils, japans or enamels’.
Show card Writing required a different type of brush called a Sable. These brushes were made from tails of the Kolinsky, or Red Tartar Marten. They have a unique ‘spring’ and are used with tempera for card writing. The hair is set in a metal ferrule with a wood handle attached.
The Fitch is a brush primarily used by sign painters for wall signs and murals. These brushes are made of Ox Hair. It has ‘great tensile strength and does not break off under strenuous use in any kind of color’. The hair is ‘light, rather blond in color’. This hair is set in a metal ferrule with a long wooden handle attached and is excellent for chiseled Cutters, Sign Writers and Sash Tools.